What the Education Omnibus Bill Means for Your Child’s Education

The Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its legislative session with a lame duck session in January just before the new legislators were sworn in. Among the bills passed was HB2170, known as the Education Omnibus Bill. As an omnibus bill, HB2170 contains lots of different pieces of legislation ranging from early childhood education all the way … Continue reading What the Education Omnibus Bill Means for Your Child’s Education

Surprising New Trends in Parents’ Views

Illinois PTA has highlighted Learning Heroes and their parent resources often, but their research work is also important. In the past two years, Learning Heroes noted that many parents are overestimating how well their child is doing in school and dug into some of the reasons behind that disconnect. The results of this year’s parent … Continue reading Surprising New Trends in Parents’ Views

What’s New with the Illinois School Report Card

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its annual school report card last week. There is one significant change to the report card this year as more of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) goes into effect: site-specific expenditure reporting. That means that the school report card now shows the federal and state/local funding … Continue reading What’s New with the Illinois School Report Card

The State We’re In 2019

Three years ago, Advance Illinois released a report summarizing the current state of education in Illinois. That report, using data and maps to show just how widespread the challenges in funding, poverty, and achievement were across the state, was a crucial factor in the General Assembly passing the new Evidence-Based Funding model the following year. … Continue reading The State We’re In 2019

Help Your Child Spring Ahead

Illinois PTA has often highlighted the resourcesand researchdone by Learning Heroes. As the annual state assessment, now known as the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), approaches, Learning Heroes has released a new resource for families called Spring Ahead. Spring Ahead provides tools and information to help families support their child as they get ready for … Continue reading Help Your Child Spring Ahead

New Report Digs Into the Causes of the Disconnect Between How Families Think Their Child is Achieving and How the Child is Actually Achieving

Last year, Learning Heroes released the results of their parent survey that showed that nearly 90% of parents regardless of race, income, geography, and income levels believe that their child is working at or above their grade level. Yet national data shows that only about one-third of students are actually performing that well. This year, … Continue reading New Report Digs Into the Causes of the Disconnect Between How Families Think Their Child is Achieving and How the Child is Actually Achieving

5 Things to Know About the New Illinois School Report Card

Illinois’s school report cardwas released on October 31st, and there have been several changes this year due to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Here are five things families need to know about this year’s report card. There’s a new school rating system.Schools are now classified in one of four designations: Exemplary:Schools performing in the … Continue reading 5 Things to Know About the New Illinois School Report Card

Ordinary Trip to the Grocery Store with Your Kid? Explain as You Go

Today’s guest post comes from Laura Schlachtmeyer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), with suggestions on how to help your child develop money management and math skills. We all know our kids are always watching and learning (even when we wish they weren’t). This applies to the way you use and manage money as … Continue reading Ordinary Trip to the Grocery Store with Your Kid? Explain as You Go

Give Your Child a Quick Readiness Check for This School Year

Surveys show that 90% of parents believe their child is performing at or above grade level. However, their teachers indicate that only 39% of students start the school year prepared for grade-level work, and other indicators such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) agree with them. Learning Heroes has created a quick readiness … Continue reading Give Your Child a Quick Readiness Check for This School Year

Handbook Helps Local Leaders Engage Districts on ESSA

Local implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the focus of many new resources for stakeholders, as school district begin to create their own ESSA implementation plan. One of the latest, which National PTA contributed to, is Meaningful Local Engagement Under ESSA—Issue 2: A Handbook for Local Leadersfrom Partners for Each and Every … Continue reading Handbook Helps Local Leaders Engage Districts on ESSA

Engage for Education Equity Toolkit

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Illinois’s ESSA implementation plan emphasize family engagement as a critical piece for improving student achievement. To help empower parents, families, caregivers, students, and other community members, the Dignity in Schools Campaign, Partners for Each and Every Child, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund have partnered to … Continue reading Engage for Education Equity Toolkit

Understanding the Barriers to High School Graduation

Today’s guest post comes from the Real Learning for Real Life Coalition, of which Illinois PTA is a member, and is by Stephanie J. Schmitz Bechteler, Ph.D., the Vice President and Executive Director of the Chicago Urban League. High school graduation is one of the most important milestones teenagers must achieve as they transition into … Continue reading Understanding the Barriers to High School Graduation

Early Learning Council’s New Guidelines for Community Engagement

The value of PTA can be measured in a wide variety of ways, but one of the most strategic is representation of the parent community at the state level through participation in meaningful relationships. One such relationship is with the Illinois Early Learning Council. Created by Public Act 93-380, the Council is a public-private partnership … Continue reading Early Learning Council’s New Guidelines for Community Engagement

Essence of ESSA: School Climate and Culture

Today’s guest post comes from the Real Learning for Real Life coalition, of which Illinois PTA is a member. The coalition helps families and communities understand how our education system is changing to provide the children of Illinois the best education possible. The article looks at the difference and importance of school climate and culture … Continue reading Essence of ESSA: School Climate and Culture

Essence of ESSA: Growth versus Proficiency

Today’s guest post comes from the Real Learning for Real Life coalition, of which Illinois PTA is a member. The coalition helps families and communities understand how our education system is changing to provide the children of Illinois the best education possible. The article details how schools in Illinois are changing instruction as the Every … Continue reading Essence of ESSA: Growth versus Proficiency

Helping Your Child with Math Homework

Math homework has been a challenge for families at least since the “New Math” curriculum was introduced in the 1970s. With math standards and curriculum changing in recent years, many parents are discovering that how they learned to do math is no longer how it is being taught. That frustration helped one Ohio father’s Facebook … Continue reading Helping Your Child with Math Homework

New Hour of Code Activity from National PTA & ThinkFun

Computer Science Education Week begins December 4th, and with it comes the Hour of Code program that Illinois PTA has covered before. We’ve also covered the importance of computer science education and computational thinking for students. This year, as part of National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative, program partner ThinkFun has created an Hour of … Continue reading New Hour of Code Activity from National PTA & ThinkFun

Parent Guides for the New Science Standards

You may be familiar with PTA’s Parents’ Guides to Student Success, which highlight what your child will be learning in Math and English/Language Arts from kindergarten through high school. During the 2016-2017 school year, Illinois required the use of its new science standards, based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Now the NGSS developers … Continue reading Parent Guides for the New Science Standards